An application must be submitted on forms provided by the Department. The application is reviewed by the Department for administrative completeness. An administratively complete application is one that "the Department determines to contain information addressing each application requirement of the regulatory program and to contain all information necessary to initiate processing and public review" (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1701.APPENDIX A). The permit process cannot begin until the Department has determined the application is administratively complete (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.13(a)(1)).
Once an application for a permit or significant revision has been deemed administratively complete, the applicant is to forward the required number of copies of the application to the Department, file two copies of the application with county clerk - one for public review and one to be forwarded to the chairman of the county board of supervisors, and publish a public notice in a local newspaper of general circulation once a week for four consecutive weeks (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.13(a)(1)). This marks the official beginning of the application review period (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.13(a)(2)).
Upon receipt of a complete application, the Permit Coordinator will notify various federal and local governmental bodies, planning agencies, sewage and water district authorities and water companies in the locality of the proposed mine, and state the application's permit number and where a copy of the application may be inspected (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.13(a)(3)).
Copies of the application are forwarded to the Illinois EPA and Department of Agriculture. These agencies have 45 days to review the application and submit comments to the Department. The application is also forwarded to the NRCS and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Written comments from the public may be forwarded to Department for up to 30 days after the last publication of the newspaper notice (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.13(b)(1)).
- Any person whose interests may be affected adversely by the issuance of the permit has until 30 days after the last newspaper notice to request that Department hold an informal conference (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.13(c)(1)(C)).
- Any interested party has until 80 days after the first newspaper notice to request a public hearing (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.14(a)).
The Department considers all comments received, along with information gathered at the informal conference and/or public hearing, if held, and the results of its own review. Based on this information, the decision is made as to whether to issue, deny, or require modifications to the application. The decision to issue, deny, or require modifications of the application shall be issued within 120 days of the filing of the application with the county or within 60 days of the close of an informal conference or public hearing comment period (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.19(a)(2)).
If modifications are necessary, a letter is sent to the applicant indicating that the application will be denied unless specified modifications are made. The required modifications shall be submitted within one year of being notified of the need for modifications or the application shall be denied (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.15(a)(1)(B)(I)).
Upon receipt and review of any required modifications, the Department makes its decision. If the decision is to approve the permit the applicant is notified of the required bond and fee amounts and the permit is not issued until the bond and fee is received. Once the bond and fee are received the permit is issued with the finding. Failure to submit the required bond and fee within one year of being notified of the bond and fee amount will result in the application being deemed null and void (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1777.17(e) and 1800.11(a)).
- Copies of the decision finding and permit, if approved, are sent to the applicant, local government officials, anyone who was party to an informal conference or public hearing, and to anyone who submitted written comments (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1773.19(a)(3)).
- The applicant, or any interested party, has 30 days from the date the finding was mailed to the applicant to request an administrative hearing of the final decision (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1847.3(a)).
- Any interested person who was a participant in the administrative hearing may appeal the hearing decision by requesting a judicial review (62 Ill. Adm. Code 1847.3(I)).